Joe Biden, Democrat candidate for Veep and human gaffe machine, dropped his unintentional comic relief personae and became very serious in a meeting of Democrat fund-raisers on October 19, in Seattle, Washington. He predicted that within six months of the election of Obama an international crisis would be generated to test the mettle of the young and untried President.
Well, what to make of this beyond suspecting that Obama and Biden had a very long talk and that Obama is wishing yet again that he had swallowed the bitter medicine and put Clinton on the ticket?
First, I believe that Biden is correct. The world is in turmoil and I think it very likely that Obama, if he is elected, would face a foreign crisis of the first magnitude sometime shortly after he would be sworn in. My list of possible crises from most likely to least likely:
1. Israel launches bombing runs to take out Iran’s nuclear program and a war with Iran ensues.
2. A major terrorist attack in the continental US.
3. Russia invades another part of the former Soviet Union.
4. Iran announces that it has produced a nuclear weapon.
5. Pakistan erupts in civil war and India threatens intervention.
6. A dirty bomb is used against Israel.
7. A dirty bomb is used against the US.
8. A smuggled nuclear weapon is used against Israel.
9. A smuggled nuclear weapon is used against the US.
Because Obama comes from the left wing of the Democrat party the suspicion of unfriendly powers might be that he would decline to use military power in response. My fear is precisely the opposite. Because Obama is so inexperienced in foreign policy and military matters I suspect that he might over-react, and that a bad manageable crisis might quickly spin out of control into something far, far worse.
Thus far in this election campaign there hasn’t been much focus on foreign affairs and the use of military force. Senator Biden is to be thanked for bringing, albeit completely inadvertently, these issues front and center.